Joint ME-MAT Seminar
  • FENS
  • Joint ME-MAT Seminar

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Abstract: Novel Energy Systems for Distributed and Mobile Power Applications

Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) have long been a leading candidate to replace batteries in mobile applications with long duration operation. In the 10-100W power range, water management has limited the compactness so that the DMFC potential has not yet been commercially realized. This presentation will describe the system architecture and underlying technology of the so-called open cathode system approach. The dramatic improvements and compactness will be described, as well as some of the current research challenges.

Future demand for electricity, heat, and cooling is expected to be met in part by widespread adoption of combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP). Such systems provide the efficiency benefit of placing sources of heat and/or cooling near the demand sites, so that much of the waste heat is used productively. This approach couples well to biomass and municipal solid wastes, enhancing the economic recovery of such primary energy streams. This presentation will describe a novel semi-closed cycle system which has the potential to help overcome several of the limiting issues, including efficiency, flexibility, emissions, water utilization, and economics.

Biography: Dr. William. E. Lear is Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida. He is an Associate Fellow of AIAA, former Chair of the Terrestrial Energy Systems technical committee of AIAA, and has served in multiple roles with the International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, including Technical Program Chair. His areas of research are distributed generation, especially in novel CCHP and low temperature fuel cells. He is co-inventor of the Power, Water Extraction, and Refrigeration system, a cycle which utilizes absorption refrigeration in a unique way to provide system efficiency benefits and external refrigeration.